Huawei has almost certainly been working on a software contingency plan for some time now, prepping for a worst case scenario. When the U.S. announced that it was blacklisting the Chinese hardware giant earlier this year, those plans were likely accelerated.
One of the things that’s still unclear, however, is what role the company’s Hongmeng OS will fill. Recent reports have suggested that the operating system was built for IoT and other industrial applications. However, the software may also be forked specifically to run on low-end mobile devices.
State-run media outlet Global Times issued a report based on sources this morning suggesting that Hongmeng could appear on a low-end phone later this year. The OS is clearly far less robust than Android in its current state, but could wind up on a new device priced at 2,000 yuan (~$290). The report adds that Huawei is set to reveal the operating system in full later that this week at its Developer Conference in Dongguan, China.
At present, Hongmeng doesn’t appear purpose-built to replace Google’s operating system, but Huawei is getting ready for the possibility of a future that completely cuts the company off from access to U.S.-built hardware and software. For the time being, at least, the company seems focused on continuing to use Android for its high-end flagships, while potentially building out Hongmeng on more entry-level devices.